CHASING BIRDS OFF THE LAWN
The police routes of protesters last night were nothing more than akin to chasing birds of the lawn and thinking you’re tough for doing it. One person can easily route 100s of birds, because they DON’T FIGHT BACK. likewise, 20 PTU violently thrashing at everyone will route 100s.
The confidence of the hardcore police units to beat protesters is shown in the fact that they don’t even bother to carry shields. Just batons so they can move fast, hit hard and feel like they are some how powerful.
Unfortunately, HK’s Black Police Force, they are now unashamed of this now and happily cheer and jeer at the protesters when they think they’ve scored victory, misunderstands this fight. They think it’s about power. When the Police completed their last charge this morning and stomped right into the main protester site, they were high on what they thought was a victory for them after a terrible night of collapse after collapse.
And then this morning we hear CY pipe in that the protesters should not mistake the HK Police forces restraint with weakness. Which we could say exactly the same thing about the protesters.
Last night, I spent a fair amount of time discussing with protesters who had found a huge stash of bricks right next to Lung Wo Rd, the heart of the battle. After being routed once by the police, people were angry and wanted to use the bricks against the PTU. Everyone knew they would come again, no one was surprised and some protestors wanted to hit back at the PTU when they came cockily charging. Fortunately, good sense prevailed and we managed to convince them that bricks would not help the cause. So the bricks remained untouched!
The point is, which I’ve said all along is it is beyond preposterous to say that the reason there have been no major injuries so far is because of the restraint of the police. This is both ignorant and naive to believe or say. The reason why there has been no extreme violence is because of the restraint and good sense of an ad-hoc group of protestors who constantly squabble and bicker over method but all share the same high goal.
There is no rational or logical connection between no negotiation and therefore straight to violence. People try to sell us this idea, and often we accept it blindly as though this is a normal state for citizens to be in with their government and police. But it’s not rational. Just like in our homes, if a person is being defiant, we’re not justified in going Route One to physical violence. The same is true for politics, or I can’t negotiate with these people therefore I will just brutalise them.
So in this light, how can we see last nights event? Certainly the police got routed twice to start and then the police routed the protesters twice. So was it a draw? Maybe the police won? Their route took minutes whereas the protesters push took hours.
The fact is, this is a true Civil Disobedience Movement and in such a fight, the protestors need to show the inhumanity and unreasonableness of the Government. And the best way to do this is to prove that the Gov will choose violence over discussion and negotiation and will brook no dissent and instead violently clamp down on it.
After 64 days, the HKFS call to action proved that the government will not and can not compromise. Maybe you already knew that and think people didn’t need to push it so far to show this. But again this is naive. There’s a significant difference between personally believing and proving. Whatever your thoughts on the Occupy Movement, your opinions on the HK Gov and Police are changed forever and will never return back to what they once were. As for the young people of Hong Kong, The police and Gov have lost an entire generation. they will not forget what they saw. This is the success of the Occupy Movement. This was the victory from last night.
Everyones’ future in HK is at stake here. The Government has proved itself to be unashamedly malign to a significant proportion of the population and the HK Police have proven beyond doubt that they will happily run any of the government’s detractors off the street time and time again. The Police Force and Gov are stripped of any shame. They may well win by shear brute force , but they will never be able to get people’s trust. That has gone forever.